Alewya is an acclaimed London-based singer/songwriter, producer and visual artist. Born in Saudi Arabia to an Egyptian-Sudanese father and an Ethiopian mother, Alewya has spent her life surrounded and nurtured by diaspora immigrant communities: she grew up in West London and after spending several years in New York, she returned to London. Upon returning home, the rising Saudi-British artist developed and honed her ear for music through the sounds of the Ethiopian and Arabic music of her parents and the ambient alternative rock albums of her brother.
The Saudi-born, Egyptian-Sudanese-Ethiopian, London-based artist’s name translates from Arabic to English into “most high” or “the highest,” and interestingly enough, her work thematically concerns itself with transcendence. She sees her music as an accessible space for her and her listeners to connect on a deeply spiritual level — with her work challenging the listener to remember the last time that they felt truly connected to themselves and their emotions. “I want to move people to themselves. I want them to feel the same way that I felt when I had a taste of a higher power and felt there was a presence over me,” Alewya says. “I want people to feel that.”
Back in 2020, Alewya burst out into the scene with an attention-grabbing feature on Little Simz‘s “where’s my lighter,” which caught the attention of Because Records, who signed the rising artist and released her critically applauded debut, last year’s Panther In Mode, which featured:
- The Busy Twist-produced debut single “Sweating,” a forward-thinking Timbaland-like mesh of trap, reggae and electro pop.
- “Spirit_X,” which paired elements of Timbaland, trap and drum ‘n’ bass paired with the rising British artist alternating between spitting fiery bars and sultry crooning.
- The sultry and defiantly feminist anthem “Play.”
- “Channel High” a slick synthesis of grime, contemporary R&B, dancehall, electro pop and Afrobeats that’s roomy enough for the rising British artist to pull out an incredibly self-assured, Lauryn Hill-like performance. Much like its predecessors, “Channel High” is politically charged, calling for music to bring about a much-needed paradigm shift.
The JOVM mainstay’s latest single “Let Go,” is the first bit of new material since last year’s Panther in Mode EP. Centered around skittering beats and wobbling synths paired with Alewya’s raspy delivery — that sees her spitting fire and crooning within the turn of a phrase. But where the material on Panther in Mode saw the artist at her most poised and controlled, “Let Go” feels feral and uneasy while self-assured.
“I’m freeing myself up, getting more confident in how lost I feel,” Alewya says. “With Panther In Mode, I was coming from a more poised space. The next phase is more wild. I won’t hold back anymore.”
Directed by Rawtape x Lee Trigg, the accompanying video for “Let Go” stars the rising artist and JOVM mainstay frenetically dancing in a variety of rooms and situations, including what appears to be a mental health institution. The video also features original hieroglyphic-style artwork by Alewya.
After releasing her highly praised bold debut EP, Panther in Mode, Alewya returns with the latest dazzling weapon in her arsenal: the new single and video for “Let Go.” Brimming with ancestral drums and raspy melodies, “Let Go” marks a new phase for her, one that through a time of mental agony and confusion revealed a newfound personal freedom and confidence.
This is Alewya at her most powerful. Listen here: https://alewya.lnk.to/letgo.
“I’m freeing myself up, getting more confident in how lost I feel,” notes Alewya. “With ‘Panther In Mode’, I was coming from a more poised space. The next phase is more wild. I won’t hold back anymore.”
Today, Alewya also shares the song’s video, directed by Rawtape x Lee Trigg. The video sees her as the sole performer and features original hieroglyphic-style artwork by Alewya.